I AM CHRISTOPHER LEACH THE ARTIST. I started this blog so that I can share with everyone my vast collection of transport photographs showing a personal and nostalgic view of the industry with images that span some 45 years taking in the U.K and some of Europe. I have no darkroom and so rather than being the perfectionist after tidying them up I upload the images warts and all, and even those that won't scan squarely or are scratched. In a way it adds age and character. You are all free to download these for your personal use but please remember I still own them and you are not just free to use them without prior permission for any knd of publishing. Click on images to enlarge them and if you want to see more leave your comments or visit my website for the mother-site with galleries including those Buses & Girls: PICTUREWORLD

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Rawtenstall All-Leyland PD2 No.19 RTC 823

It's fortunate in our novice days many of us didn't quite stick to the rule book and took correct photos Flickr and Blogger would be a duller place without unusual views. It is impossible to balance the contrast on this one taken in Accrington in 1967 but because I just wanted to take a photo regardless of the shadows ensures it  has an innocent endearing narrative quality.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Berlin Wedding: Car Fumes & Nicotine

A wide Berlin thoroughfare in the Wedding District in 1990 and where as one might expect the hair gelled back HB smoker in the flowery shirt always gets the beautiful blond. They were a top selling brand but only seasoned smokers will tell you if they really do taste like a soft pencil.I never did find the nearby BVG Muller Str Garage from which 3652 worked from.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

GUP 931N: United biggest user of the Bristol LHL

As well as the highly populated industrial conurbations near the coast where the background VR was ideal, in the North East much of the United area was rural and it could boast the NBC's largest fleet of small Bristol LHL's with well over 200.  Typical was GUP931N No.1629 seen in Darlington with an ECW body as was usually the case.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

SWG 1-14 Giessen: Some are just banal?

People often ask us why we like buses and occasionally I just photograph them because they are there like this very ordinary M.A.N seen at the terminus on the outskirts of Giessen which is a very ordinary provincial German town. But to put it another way, if I don't who will and every bus deserves at least a photo because someone somewhere will like it hopefully.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

DTC 740J. Lancashire United Seddon

In later years double-deckers the Lancashire United fleet seemed fairly well standardised but that didn't apply to single-deckers as there were Leyland Leopards and Tiger Cubs, Bristols and even fairly uncommon Seddons like Plaxton bodied 392 DTC740J. I've a feeling this might be near Swinton Garage but I might be mistaken

Sunday, 24 November 2013

L207LDV: Harry Blundred's little mini-bus Empire

As older bus enthusiasts we all tend to live a bit in the past but judging by the lack of pictures here on Flickr few mourn the passing of the 'Minibus Revolution'  when even the humble bread van became the ultimate transport solution to some. Harry Blundred was the best known advocate flooding Pompey and South Devon and parts of East London  with the often unsuitable things. There were even dual-entrance Iveco Transits like this and had his eccentric empire not tumbled we might almost have seen the double-decker version a  Ford Transit too! Fortunately when Stagecoach took over the more sensible mix of types reamerged but not too surprisingly some of the newer oddities lingered on long enough to carry those also not too missed Stagecoach Stripes.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

C888 FON: WMPTE Metrobus in Walsall Corporation Blue

West Midlands Travel celebrated it's Municipal heritage by painting buses from the various areas in their former colours. They made a good job of it too and we can see that the Metrobus Mk2 would have looked rather attractive in the unmistakable old Walsall Corporation colours of mid-blue with yellow beading.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

B79 WUV: Selkent Leyland Titan T1079

With it's tall buildings the streets are usually more likely to be in shadow than bathed in sunlight. This of course can detract from picture quality but it would be boring if we just found a good spot to take photos from an stood there a long time. Also of course like this scene opposite the Vicotria Apollo Cinema there is just as likely to be something of interest.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Lincolnshire or Roadcar what's in a name?

By the time I took this photo of Lincolnshire Leyland National 2828 in Lincoln the Privatised company had become known as Roadcar, maybe it hoped to expand beyond it's traditional Lincolnshire area but as far as I know it never really did, eventually getting snapped up by Yorkshire Traction. But think had it been the other way around YTC might have become known as 'Traction' or even of course it's nickname 'Tracky'. At least thankfully Lincolnshire never became 'Roady'. lol

Monday, 18 November 2013

FUA 375Y: Wallace Arnold Bova Europa

Some Wallace Arnold tours used to call in at the sprawling village of Penkridge at  lunchtime for a bit of refreshment, and the angular lines of the first generation of the Bovas certainly suited their chunky graphics and livery. The Europa of which WA had fourteen gave way to the much more stylish Futura. I wouldn't pop down there for a top-up, fuel has gone up a tad bit since the Eighties and there would be no point planning to park your truck at the most famous landmark 'The Sunset Cafe' either because that has long gone as have most of the lorries which hurry passed on the busy M6 almost within earshot. Indeed even that most familiar and pleasing sight a Warstone's 'Green Bus' elderly Leyland is very much the past. But believe it or not people still flock here from far and wide as there is a twice weekly traditional outdoor market.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Think, when did you last see an 0405?

Well actually just yesterday as National Express West Midlands still run them in Wolverhampton as they even reached the UK. Being 'N-Reg' they are getting very old but it is not that long ago that they were still running Mark1 Metrobuses so they don't give up lightly on good buses. But once they were everywhere in Germany but now I imagine they are scarce in the wealthy EEC countries finding new homes a few years ago in the less prosperous economies to the East and in the Balkans still trying to catch up and unable to afford new ones yet. Of course we took these rather square Mercedes-Benz buses very much for granted but my friend at the Die Post in Switzerland told me they were a very reliable bus and yes I quite miss them as they were pleasing to ride on. Fortunately unlike many buses today at least they came in different colours too and this yellow example was seen close to the Bahnhof in Dresden in about  1996.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

L510 BNX: City Pigeons

Believe it or not amongst my many perversions, err I mean talents I can boast to being a published poet. In my little book by Outposts 'The Magic 88' there was also one called 'City Pigeon' and if you get sick of looking at the East-Lancs bodied MRN Dennis Dart or Gazza on the side the Metrobus you can count the pesky things festooning the ledges with their droppings on Wolverhampton's Victorian buildings.

Friday, 15 November 2013

7 WTJ: Not so common Viewmaster in Birmingham

In June 1990 this smartly turned out but top heavy looking Plaxton Viewmaster bodied Tiger of Welsh Independent Brodyr Williams was about to turn into Digbeth Coach Station at a time when busy Fridays traditionally brought in some unexpected variety for us enthusiasts.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

L646 LEU: Every wonder why the bus gets there first?

A long queue of traffic quickly builds up behind this First Group Northern Counties bodied Volvo Olympian still in Bristol Cityline colours as it heads down the Gloucester Road into the city. These were the last generation of buses before the merger with Alexander but I never found them as attractive as the less fussy Manchester Standards which preceded them.

Metrobus MK2 2520 picks up in Pelsall

My era was pre-NBC and the PTE's but there are many buses since then I got to like very much such as the West Midland Travel Metrobuses like No.2520 picking up a healthy load bound for Walsall seen in Pelsall a village famed for perhaps having the last old-fashioned 'fingerpost' road sign in England with hands at the tip pointing the way. No doubt the highways department would love to rip it out but when these things slip through the net long enough they become listed as historic sites.

Monday, 11 November 2013

NMB 70P Monochrome all weather photography

The freedoms of digital photography and glorious colour have made bus photography much more simple but it is no way nearly as versatile as black and white where one could be more expressionistic and capture the romance of the seasons where the same colour  image might usually suggest it was better not to bother. Here the grey tones beautifully portray the delicious misery of a wet day making us still want to be there to enjoy damp socks surrounded by much more fitting chocolate brown Chester buses including Dennis Dominators and this short Leopard with it's rare but attractive Northern Counties bodywork.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Edgware Road: Some can park where they like!

I was going to say one wouldn't get away for more than a minute or two parking on a monitored bus stop on the main Edgeware Road today but the observant will see the Audi is indeed being ticketed. However it will not be paid as the tell-tale flags on the dash indicate that the unconcerned selfish driver probably has Diplomatic Immunity and if they respond at all the poor and needy in some Third World Country will have to cough up through their taxes. Still recording day to day situations like this gave me an excuse to photograph a rather less interesting than most Gold Line Mercedes-Benz minibus F629 XMS.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Pre-Barbie First Group buses offer variety in Halifax

One of the interesting things about the First Group before everything became much more grey was the wealth of operator and even local liveries as seen on former West Yorkshire PTE buses. Of these the also glimpsed brighter Halifax version with the Alexander Dash body was the nicest with not shown here Bradford's dreary blue and red being horrid. Seen here on a Plaxton bodied Scania I think, the usual combination G460JYG 1460 from the Huddersfield base was somewhere in the middle being okay.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

497: One familiar Danish Railway bus in Roskilde

Sadly after the United Kingdom deregulated it's bus industry in the Eighties other countries in Europe followed suit with sell-offs and reforms. A good example was Denmark where as well as numerous small Independents that have gone the once large and familar DSB railway bus operation was broken up and sold off. Looking unmistakable in it's all over red livery was this Aabeneraa bodied Volvo so typical of the Eighties and early Nineties seen in Roskilde.

Former Leicester Leyland PD3 in Rugeley

Blue Bus Service ran one of the former Leicester East-Lancs bodied Leyland PD3's on local service in Rugeley.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Bolton Corporation Leyland TD1 WH 1553

Of the many transport events held each Summer the final big one in November staged at the Lincolnshire Road Transport Museum is not only one of the best for rides these include a number of proper mouth watering vintage buses like this classic all-Leyland from 1929. As well as an open staircase at the back these buses had what become known as a Piano front as the upper deck resembled an upright-piano. Unfortunately the queues for rides were quite long but as people stood back to let the less auspicious rides go I  contented myself with a front upstairs ride for almost an hour heading out into the countryside to Saxilby on a flat-fronted Lincolnshire Roadcar ECW bodied Bristol VR.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Trolleybus 791: Bustling Lausanne

Lausanne is probably the most multi-national city in what was a very conservative Switzerland. But Europe has changed a great deal since I took this in the mid-Nineties. NAW was set up by Mercedes to build Swiss specification buses and trolleybuses at the old Saurer works and one would hardly guess from No.791.

Only the best for us: Silver Service EPM122V

National Express seems to have much of the long distance market sown up but following Deregulation, Independents keen to expand and even Municipals wanted to have a good. Silver Service operated this Lincman branded former Green Line AEC Reliance on it's Mansfield to Liverpool service.